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Duke Thrashes Carolina, 79-51
Game Recap
Duke Thrashes Carolina, 79-51
Photo Gallery
Duke Thrashes Carolina, 79-51
By Rob Clough
February 8, 2010


Player-by-Player Stats and Commentary

Allison Vernerey


Allison was very aggressive in her first career start, and she was clearly still very excited after the game. When I asked her about what it was like playing in a rivalry game for the first time, she noted that the energy she felt made her play better. She wasn't shy about attacking Walteia Rolle or Chay Shegog, and Vernerey was pushed around more than once by that duo. Still, Vernerey did a nice job of getting good position on the block and finishing under duress. She pushed a few good looks (and missed 1 jumper), but she wasn't afraid to keep attacking the Heels inside. Her two early baskets earned Rolle a quick yank from coach Sylvia Hatcell, and a stickback late in the half pushed Duke's lead up to 12. She found Thomas for an assist on the game's first play and had heads-up pass to Christmas later in the half. Allison also scored a couple of key baskets early in the second half to keep the Heels at bay. Late in the game, Allison started to get cute and tried to make some impossible passes into the post; she simply got a little greedy on those plays. It was a sharp move to start her, because she had no problem keeping up with the pace of the game; indeed, one of her early baskets was a transition finish.

Joy Cheek


This was a season-in-microcosm sort of game, filled with plays both spectacular and maddening and decisions both sharp and inexplicable. In the first half, she scored early on a nice runner, then missed her only other shot. She grabbed a rebound after a missed UNC free throw, only to lose it out of bounds (and the Heels scored afterward). She lost the ball on one play and then managed to pick up her second foul going for the loose ball. In the second half, she matched UNC's first score with a beautiful looking 19' jumper. She dominated the Heels on the boards and had a beautiful assist after an offensive rebound as she alertly found Mitchell when she was surrounded. Later, she threw a pass to no one in particular. If Joy was able to put it all together in one game, Duke would have a scoring punch that would be hard to stop. Speaking of scoring, Joy was honored with a ball after the game commemorating her scoring her 1000th career points during the FSU contest (you can see a photo in our gallery). She's in 25th place on the career scoring list, five points away from Jennifer Chestnut.

Karima Christmas


Karima's stats were solid (8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists), but every play she made seemed to come at important times during the game. She had early assists to Vernerey inside (helping to establish her confidence) and to KJ for a long jumper. Those two simple plays helped encourage the rest of the team to share the ball. An early steal wound up leading to a transition basket. She hit a scoop shot after the Heels scored 4 quick points in the first half. She hit 2 foul shots after 5 straight UNC points. Christmas scored in transition after a big block by Mitchell, and hit a short jumper on a pass from Vernerey. She swung the ball around sharply to Selby for a huge three. She was a connector at both ends of the floor. She missed some shots in the second half but went to work on the boards.

Keturah Jackson


This was one of the best games of KJ's career, as she hit a couple of crucial threes, nailed another long jumper, held the team together when Jasmine was out, and bullied UNC's backcourt defensively. She had first half assists to Mitchell and Selby, the latter for a three. She had a perfect bounce pass to Jas in the second half for a score. KJ did have several troublesome turnovers when trying to create off the dribble, but mostly managed to avoid open-court miscues. She got into the heads of UNC's Lucas and DeGraffenreid, openly smiling when it was obvious that duo could do nothing against Duke's defense. It was a heady, tough game from a determined senior with just a few home contests left in her career.

Jasmine Thomas


Jasmine hit the game's opening shot and then didn't score another point in the first half. Her foul trouble hampered her, but she also missed a couple of good-looking shots. She did strike for assists to Vernerey and KJ right away, but was otherwise a spectator. In the second half, she was bubbling over with energy--almost too much at times. Jasmine was just 2-9 from the floor, with some good looks that rimmed out but many more shots that were just taken a second too quickly. She made up for that by hitting the boards (skying for several caroms), playing intense defense and getting UNC to focus on her. Converting 4-4 from the line also helped Duke's cause. It must have been gratifying for her to see her team do so well without her, considering how much she's had to carry them this season.

Krystal Thomas


Krystal was sent to the bench again and didn't respond all that well in the first half. She did score on a nice jump hook and blocked a couple of shots, but she only grabbed 1 rebound. Shegog also was pretty effective in the post against Duke. The second half was a different story. In the last ten minutes of the game, she scored 9 points, including a stickback that started up a run and several post finishes on nice entry passes. Her defense was truly fearsome, blocking DeGraffenreid (not just her shot) out of bounds and snuffing out another shot while grabbing the rebound. After a certain point, the Heels simply stopped trying to score against her.

Bridgette Mitchell


Bridgette was as fired up as I can remember seeing her in this game, though that didn't translate into points right away. Indeed, she missed a number of chippies and jump shots in the first half. In the last ten minutes of the half, Bridgette made a number of key plays that helped put Duke up. She finished a nice pass from KJ for her first score. She blocked a shot and ignited a Duke fast break when she batted it out ahead. She got a stickback and scored on a three point play to put Duke up 12. She broke up UNC's final play of the half with a steal and was just a tick away from getting a good shot off (see our free photo gallery for a great look at this, and bonus photos of the sequence in our members' section). Her energy off the bench gave Duke a big lift when it needed it the most. She helped stake Duke to another 13 point lead in the second half and hit 3 foul shots when the Devils were putting the game away for good. Mitchell is that proverbial player with a motor whose energy can help spark her teammates, and she did a nice job staying out of foul trouble.

Shay Selby


A bench player always needs to be ready to make an impact, because you never know when your moment in the spotlight will arrive. With Jasmine Thomas on the bench and UNC daring Duke to shoot, Selby nailed two corner threes against the Heels and sank 2 free throws with 23 seconds left in the half. That 8 point spurt boosted Duke's lead to 9 at the half, a working margin that Duke soon turned into total domination. Shay hit a jumper late in the second half and found K.Thomas inside for a score. She noted that hitting that first jumper gave her a lot of confidence, and she forced the Heels to come out and guard her. Shay did lose her dribble a couple of times for turnovers, but the scoring boost she added lifted the team's spirits.

Chelsea Hopkins


Chelsea offered a little relief and gave Duke's defense another look in the first half. She found J.Thomas in transition late in the game for a pretty assist.

Kathleen Scheer


Kathleen battled hard when she got on the floor. She missed a three, but had a great assist to K.Thomas, hustled for a steal and got an offensive rebound that led to her going to the foul line.

Alexis Rogers


Lexi entered the game at the same time as Kathleen. Her two rebounds further increased Duke's impressive total.

Duke Thrashes Carolina, 79-51
Game Recap
Duke Thrashes Carolina, 79-51
Photo Gallery

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